Esquire magazine released its list of the “20 Best New Restaurants of 2009” showcasing the top dining establishments across the country, along with kudos to their top chefs. During a time when everyone is keeping close eyes on their bank accounts, and meals are more inexpensive when cooked at home, these venues managed to still get diners to open their wallets and satiate their palates.
In Miami, Chef John Critchley’s Area 31 and Chef Michelle Bernstein’s Sra. Martinez made the list. Area 31 is one of EPIC Residences and Hotel’s signature dining venues serving seafood with skillful preparation at the convergence of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay in the 54-story waterfront property.
Located in the Design District, Sra. Martinez will show off Bernstein’s deceptively simple preparations in a style inherited from her Jewish Argentine mother. May we recommend a tasty treat from the upstairs bar? The Brazilian Ballerina, made with caraway seed-infused Cabana cachaca, Cointreau, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitter lemon soda is intriguingly different. The tapas restaurant will surely be a favorite with the Art Basel crowd that will pour in this December to finish out the year with a bang.
Staying ahead of the game in Los Angeles, Chef José Andrés’ The Bazaar and Chef John Sedlar’s Rivera were also on the list. In New York, Robert De Niro’s Locanda Verde, Paul Liebrandt’s Corton, and Chef Shan Hergatt’s SHO and, in San Francisco, Jeff Hanak, Allyson, and Laurence Jossel’s Nopalito made the cut this year.